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20-Year Old Manobo Wants to be a Ship Engineer

Now on his last year as a Marine Engineering student at Naval State University, Marlon Crobe, a 20-year old Manobo from the mountains of Biliran is a step closer towards his dream of joining the ranks of thousands of Pinoy seafarers. 

Growing up among his people in Sitio Palayan in Biliran Town, he was destined to continue on with his tribe's traditional way of life. Marlon will also be the first in his family to earn a college degree. 

His father  is a hunter, and so were generations of men before him. His remarkable journey from the mountains to the greatb halls of a state university is a feat of endurance and determination of the human spirit.

Marlon took to school with such enthusiasm that he preferred his teacher's lesson over his father's teachings on their traditional hunting methods. 

Unlike their parents, Marlon and his sister were offered a chance to choose a different path in life. He proved to be more determined; he completed his primary education and moved on to high school. Marlon's sister, however, quit after graduating from elementary and got married at 17. 

When he completed his second year at 16, Marlon's knew hw would be older than his peers by the time he finished high school. He then signed up for the Alternative Learning System (ALS), a ladderized, modular non-formal education program offered by the DepEd.  Marlon passed the program and received his high school diploma. 

After he received his high school diploma, he met a local philanthropist, Jun del Rosario, who offered to sponsor his tertiary education.

He saw his chance to continue on with his studies and decided to pursue Marine Engineering at Naval State University.

He overcome that difficult period of adjustment with sheer determination. Marlon also received plenty of encouragement from his friend Jezreel, a member of a local church who had been keeping an eye on him since he started school in Naval. 

In his white school uniform, he exudes a quiet confidence of a regular college boy. There will be new challenges ahead, but with hard work and dedication. 


Source: A Manobo's Journey: From Mountains to High Seas


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